News and Stories For Your Church
Winter 2013 : Issue 11
The vision of Shaped by God is of flourishing mission in the four hundred established and new Anglican churches of the City and County, with each church growing in the number of followers of Jesus, in the depth of that discipleship, and in the effect that our faith has on the world around us. This magazine is the quarterly publication of the Diocese of Leicester (The Church of England in Leicester and Leicestershire). The themes of In Shape are centred around the nine marks of mission identified in the diocesan vision “Shaped by God” (see list to the right)
lives and communities transformed worship in a way that renews and inspires self-giving service to the community being rooted in prayer confident and sensitive evangelism lifelong Christian nurture the welcome of newcomers becoming child friendly celebration of people and places
In This Issue
3. Bishop’s Letter 4. The Dull Life of a Dean? ! 5. Making Moo-sic in Albania 6. You Rang, M’Lord? 7. Reading Rewards in 2013 8. Re:joice 10. A Trip to the Movies 11. Christmas in Gilmorton 12. Clergy Conference 13. The Gift of a Child - Tanzania 13. Listening to God Speaking through Scripture 14. leicester.anglican.org/announcements 15. leicester.anglican.org/events 16. The Interview: Riffat Zamurad
Cover Image: Viv, one of the participants at Re:joice, an evening of thanksgiving for mission (see centre pages)
In Shape is edited by: Liz Hudson Keith Cousins Mike Harrison Barry Hill Andy Rhoades e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The Diocese of Leicester administration and Leicester Cathedral Tel 0116 261 5200 The Office of the Bishop of Leicester Tel 0116 270 8985 email@example.com Diary Dates should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or entered at www.leicester.anglican.org/events by Monday 6th January. Inclusion is dependent on space available. Signup to Diomail at http://ow.ly/k6OhN Commercial advertisers are invited to call for current rates. The inclusion of an advertisement in this publication does not constitute any endorsement of a product or service by either the editors or the Diocese of Leicester
Bishop’s Letter One of the less celebrated festivals of the autumn season is the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. Frankly, the notion of angels seems a bit obscure to most people. “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” This seems like a question designed to indicate that angels are a fantasy or else like “hells angels” a rather forbidding presence on noisy motorbikes. But whatever our idea of angels they’re hardly something we are aware of or think about most of the time. Yet it is angels who, in the Bible, are the messengers of God and reveal God to us. Jacob when he sets up his ladder from earth to heaven sees angels ascending and descending upon it. They’re the ones who show us the presence of God in the midst of our daily business. What are the angels up to in our Diocese? Are they revealing God to us so that we take notice of God’s presence in new ways? Recently, at a meeting of Area Deans, we discussed the abundance of God, His generous giving to
us which is overwhelming, yet leaves us for much of the time concentrating on scarcity. Our envisioning of the Diocese for 2020 has, for the most part, concentrated on reducing numbers of clergy and strain on Parish budgets. Yet our wealth is extraordinary. We have 320 church buildings in every community. We have 140 full time trained paid clergy to work in every community. We have 100 church schools and chaplains in every hospital, prison and university. We have tens of millions of pounds of reserves held in glebe and other assets. We have a long tradition stretching back centuries and an established place in the networks of the country. We have a Bishop with guaranteed seat in Parliament. What more could we ask for? The extreme generosity of God is all around us, and yet, in spite of the angels, it mostly passes us by.
The supreme gift is the gift of Jesus Christ. That gift too went unnoticed by most people in the stable at Bethlehem. It was the shepherds to whom the angels spoke because, perhaps, they had time and imagination to see what others missed.
In an apparently ordinary event they discerned the great transforming moment of all human history. Would you manage to see that? Do the angels touch your life enough to alert you to the generous giving of God? What do you need to do in preparing for the In this autumn season as we prepare for Christmas season to become those who can Christmas, we need to have our eyes opened to see and receive the gifts showered upon you God’s gifts. For if we fail to see them we will be every day? looking in the wrong place and not seizing the opportunities that come our way.
Diocesan Assembly Sat 5th July 2014, Cathedral Gardens Keep the date free! This promises to be a fabulous day of celebration for the life of the family of churches and Christian communities that make up the diocese of Leicester with all sorts of activities in the newly completed Cathedral Gardens.
with labyrinth, singing, worship, 24/7 prayer and more and a creative zone with craft activities, story telling, drama, live music in the gardens.
As well as lots to see and hear there will be all There will be various zones to explore sorts to eat and including a learning zone in St Martins a chance to catch House with participatory workshops up with old friends for children, young people and adults as well as making including key note speakers as well some new ones. as interactive sessions. There will be a spirituality zone in the cathedral
Keep your eyes peeled for further information including exact timings (should start around midday onwards) but for now,
HOLD THE DATE! 3
the welcome of newcomers
The Dull Life of a Dean? ! My life is far from dull! The routine job is about trying to establish a clearer vision for the cathedral and trying to discern how best we might grow in the confidence of our particular calling. So we’re putting together a plan and we’re trying to get the right set of staff and volunteer teams in place to make it happen. I was heartened talking to a much more experienced Dean who said the first year was a complete blur! Physical changes to the building are much in evidence with the pulpit moved and a new plinth in place for worship and events. Meanwhile issues relating to Richard III rumble on in the courts whilst we plan on for re-interment. Now that the plans are public for the tomb and our initial steps of re-ordering, we are now concentrating more on the events and services which will make up the re-interment. We’re working on services which will celebrate and proclaim the hope of resurrection and the power of reconciliation and transformation. There will be months of building work inside the cathedral east of the screen and we have to fathom a way to get the
huge slab for the memorial safely inside. Oh and then there’s Cathedral Gardens which are due to be completed by the end of April. There is mud and disruption everywhere as we try to maintain a normal life of 21 services each week. And on top of that the builders will be moving into the old Church House range of buildings on the west side of the precincts. These will become housing for the Dean and two Canons with completion by late spring. We’re selling our current houses which are dotted around the city and using the proceeds to buy and renovate at a nil cost to the cathedral. The Deanery border collie is very grateful that the new Gardens are being created especially for him! Cathedrals are often felt to be bastions of continuity – big ships that are difficult to navigate and change course. Change is felt to be unsettling especially when the ‘real world’ has so much instability and sometimes people run away from that by going to church. Yet I have seen with great clarity over the past months how all these buildings have changed
so much over so many years. Previous generations have had much confidence in God’s reliability with vast openness to change. God’s people had to discover in the Exodus and in the Exile and indeed during persecutions throughout the Apostolic Age and beyond that God could be known in the stability of special holy places but also was revealed as the people moved about amidst uncertain landmarks. We will have to learn to let go, learn to be in disrupted and dusty space and try to imagine a day when the builders will leave. Some will thrive. Others will struggle. We will be together. Life will continue to be far from dull. David Monteith Dean of Leicester
lives and communities transformed
Making Moo-sic in Albania A group of 19 people drawn mostly from the Melton Team Parish have recently returned from a mission trip with a difference to Albania. In the space of one week, the Team were involved in leading workshops teaching singing, guitar, ukulele and recorder to members of the Way of Peace Worship Group and children from Victory School. The UK choir and musicians also took a leading role in several events and services during their week in Lushnje which was timed to coincide with the Church’s 20th Anniversary celebrations. This included performing songs from the shows in a Cultural Evening which also included Albanian Dancing led by our hosts and a line dancing lesson from a church in the USA.
In the hot July temperatures, ‘Team Melton’ under the leadership of James, St Mary’s Director of Music, worship leaders of the ‘Way of Peace’ Church came together with UK musicians in the Singing Workshops. As the Albanian singers learned the songs in English, the UK Team, not to be outdone, learned some of the songs in Albanian! Meanwhile, talented guitarists and worship leaders from our group led guitar workshops with two groups of young people, while three other members of our Team led ukulele and recorder workshops with children from the church and Victory School, which was started and run by the Lushnje Church. After only three lessons in very hot classrooms, the ukulele and recorder groups performed in front of about 100 people at the Cultural Evening, while members of the advanced guitar group and the Albanian singers joined the UK Team to lead the worship in the Anniversary Services. It was inspiring
to witness Albanian and UK musicians leading the congregation in worship together and to see how the Albanian contingency grew in confidence and skill over the week. In a week full of new, often emotional experiences, the visit to Bitaj village stands out. The ‘Way of Peace’ Church is working with families from this village sharing the gospel in a number of ways and with the help of their partners from various countries. To date they have built a new village primary school, provided new houses for two of the poorest families and set up the ‘Cow for Life’ Project. This very successful scheme has resulted in over 20 cows in calf or with a calf being given to families in Bitaj. The Team were keen to visit this village to see the three cows bought with the money raised by the Burton and Melton Choirs and Musicians charity CD. However, the afternoon turned into a marvellous spontaneous service as in the shade of the porch of a house built by the Church for a young widow and her family, the Team gave an impromptu concert interspersed with testimonies and a great story from our Team Vicar, Revd Sharon. It was like a scene straight out of the New Testament as what seemed like the whole village gathered round in the July sunshine wanting to be part of this
This experience was amazing….humbling….eye opening…life changing…. experience before taking us off to visit their homes and to see the cows! What did the trip achieve? We hope our love of making music inspired those who received us with open hearts and we trust that we also created a desire in those we worked with to continue making music and developing their skills, especially in leading the worship in the church. Since our return we have learned that an American
Volunteer worker who is a gifted musician, will be based in Lushnje for the next two years and she is delighted to have the chance to continue building on the foundations we laid.
As a Team, we also take away a whole range of emotions and challenges from this experience. Here is some of the feedback from our group: “We talk of mission, but you need to see the effect on people’s lives….This experience was amazing….humbling….eye opening…life changing…. This Albanian Church can teach us a lot about how to do mission….and …. I can’t wait to go again!” One thing is sure – this is not the end of our mission! Already we are talking about what comes next! If you are interested in getting involved in future activities or would like to hear more about the trip, please contact: Janet King, Pioneer Minister, Melton Mowbray Team Parish. Janet King email@example.com
confident and sensitive evangelism
You Rang, M’Lord? What do church bells mean to you? This was the question asked at a recent bell celebration weekend at All Saints’ Church, Gilmorton. The event marked the completion of an ambitious project to refurbish the church’s eight bells. The answers we received came from young and old, church members and non-members, locals and folks from far away. They give an intriguing insight into the power bells have to make connections between people in a community, with the church and most importantly with God. Many said the sound of bells spreads ‘joy’, ‘peace’ and ‘love’ and makes them feel ‘peaceful’, ‘cheerful’, and ‘uplifted’. Often people made connections with a spiritual dimension: ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord’ came from two people and children said that hearing the bells means that ‘God is around’ and ‘God is coming down to us’. An elderly farmer said movingly, ‘When I’m out in the fields alone and I hear the bells, I know I’m not alone.’ Housebound people told us how comforting they find the sound of bells and clock chimes, connecting them with others and reminding them of God’s presence. Clearly the sound of bells can touch and express something deeply spiritual. The local Tower Captain described bells as ‘The voice of the church’. One child wrote that the sound of bells ‘means to me that there’s a church service’, but even those who do not regularly come to church will be reminded that there is a living church in their midst by the sound of bells. One comment was: ‘They call to me, call me to worship, even outside the church! They remind me of the great history of worship here’. Jesus calls people to ‘come and see’; bells perhaps call them to ‘come and hear’ and then to see.
photo (l-r) are: Dave Plimmer, Alan Moult, Bob Morris, Charles West, Alan Welburn, Helen Scutt and Mike Dawson. I have ever done. Definitely.’ Another noted: ‘working with people in the village whom I may not otherwise have met was fantastic. We now stop and talk whenever we see each other.’ She and one of her children are now learning to ring along with another of the 15 volunteers. Others described the teamwork approach as ‘heartwarming’ and ‘a never to be forgotten episode which enriched everyone involved’. I find parallels with the gospel: God identifies with us as human beings and calls us into relationship with him and with each other in his name. Drawing people together and building community is part of our witness to God’s love of all. Bells seem to be fascinating to people of all ages. As part of the project we took a bell and bell rope into assembly at the local primary school. Bells are great visual aids and prompt discussion about why we ring bells at church and what the church does. When the bells returned every class in the school came down to see them and have their pictures taken. The celebration weekend brought lots of folk to the church to learn about bells and watch them turning through a video link, and also of course to enjoy free hospitality, to meet local church members and to take part in a Songs of Praise service. Welcome, hospitality and inclusion are central to our faith and witness.
The sound of bells has the power to draw a community together. There were many comments such as ‘The village is living again!’, ‘The sound of the church clock and the bells is the living breathing life of the village’, and ‘church and bells are the heart of the village’. Many people spoke with delight about community life and feeling the church is their place. To keep costs down we recruited a team of local volunteers to undertake the work in Bellringing is one of the only all-age activities the tower and this had an impact on those on offer, usually free, inclusive and welcoming involved. One said it was ‘one of the best things of all from about 9 to 90 and beyond! This is
truly an activity where every person is valued for whatever they can bring and this models the affirmation and value that God gives to each of us. Ringing works not only muscles but also brain! People can take it to any level from novice to elite and be welcomed at over 5000 towers in England and beyond. If your band of ringers dashes off before a service it may be because they are off to ring the bells for another service elsewhere. They will certainly appreciate a word of thanks – Alison Illife, a ringer now training for ordained ministry, says ‘it means a lot that they are noticed and helps to make them feel a part of something bigger that continues after they leave.’ She says ‘bellringing has been an important part of my faith journey – it kept me linked into church even when I had no intention of staying to a Sunday service.’ Much has been written about how a sense of belonging will often precede and contribute to someone beginning to believe the Christian gospel. Alison’s story illustrates this profoundly. The sound of bells and the activity of ringing can bear witness to deep truths in our faith: we are called by God as valued children, to know God’s love, joy and peace, and to find our place in relationship with one another and with God, called to belong. Church bells and those who ring them are vital parts of our Church voice and mission. What do church bells mean to you? Emma Davies
lifelong Christian nurture
Reading Rewards: Good Reads of 2013 If you’re a book lover like me then you’ll know how pleasurable reading is, and how sometimes something you’ve read can have a really profound impact on you. I’m sure we can all think of books we’ve read over the years, maybe one we were made to read at school, or a “couldn’t put it down...” lend from a friend, which has stayed with us a long while.
privilege of listening to the author read from this at the Greenbelt festival this year. It’s a collection of 150 poems, songs, lists, thoughts and observations, charting the sacred in the everyday dust and dirt and boredom and celebration. Symmons Roberts puts depth where flatness is only evident, and height where we only see what is in front of us.” (£12.00)
Working in Christian Resources is a delight for someone like me who loves books and loves Jesus. I’m confronted by lots of great reads to add to my “must have” list. Our customers enthuse about our books too, and here are some suggested ‘Good Reads’ from some of them.
Mary Lawson, Diocesan director of Education gave Noah’s Fantastic Boat by Tim Dowley as one of her end of year gift books to every primary school in the Diocese. The response was overwhelming. It was described as “ A wonderful resource loved by children both young and old.” “ Fantastic for display in school and fully interactive” (£12.99)
Roger Smith, father of three recommends The Manual series of Bible notes for men by Carl Beech. “They are useful little books to take away with you when travelling or if you don’t have the time to do a longer Daily Bible study. They’re no bigger than a small travel Bible and the notes are written by men and are relevant and get you thinking.”(£4.99 each)
Dave Vasey of Harborough Evangelical Church says this: “After hearing Alister McGrath speak at The Keswick Convention I picked up his book Mere Theology. I didn’t expect the words on the back cover to be true of a book on theology, but they were. It is ‘inviting, accessible and exhilarating’, a real find.” (£10.99)
Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts is highly thought of by Emily Walker, Resident Musician at Launde Abbey. She writes “I had the
“Babe’s Bible - Sister Acts is an excellent novel, a follow up to Babe’s Bible - Gorgeous Grace. Both by Karen Jones. A present day story told alongside a Biblical story based loosely on the book of Acts. The book highlights situations Christian women may find themselves in and the difficulties they and their loved ones have to overcome as a result of their actions. The third book in the trilogy is eagerly awaited.”(£8.99) Janet Robinson, child minder and mother of two grown up daughters.
“Silence: A Christian History by Diarmaid MacCulloch is another great book by this Oxford Church historian. His historical overview from Biblical times through Church history of varied approaches to silence and its impact upon spirituality provides fascinating insights .... uncovering, for example, how noisy the Reformers were!” (£20.00) Rev Chris Oxley
“I found myself reading Everything Belongs – The Gift of Contemplative Prayer after the death of my father,” says our bookshop manager, Janette Sturgis. “The author Richard Rohr is not part of my usual reading diet, coming as I do from a non Anglican Evangelical background and Rohr being a Franciscan priest. This was followed swiftly by my reading one of our best-sellers this year, his Falling Upward – A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. Both books expanded my horizons and gave me a bigger picture of our gracious, healing God.” (£12.99 and £10.99 respectively)
Books about our faith can profoundly deepen our relationship with God, equip us do the work God wants us to do, inspire us and encourage us. So if reading a Christian book is not something you’ve thought about before, why not give one a try? And with Christmas coming up, you might find a Christian book could solve a “what do we get them this year?” problem. There are so many to choose from. Maggie Turnbull, Christian Resources
10% off all titles at Christian Resources St Martins House, when you mention In Shape.
In September, representatives gathered from across the diocese for an evening giving thanks to God for what He is doing through the diocesan vision for mission, Shaped by God
As part of the evening, each person was invited to note just one of the many differences God makes in their life. Here are a flavour of their responses.
A video of seven stories of mission from different churches was also produced and can be watched at www.leicester. anglican.org/rejoice
self giving service to the community Earlier this year, the All Saints Asfordby received a grant from the Growth Fund to start a Youth Cinema Club in their Church. As the new term gets underway, this exciting project is taking off and those involved are reaching out to those in their local area, and challenging perceptions about church. Read on to find out more:
Asfordby Cinema Club
A trip to the movies
Asfordby Cinema Club is a new outreach venture based at All Saints, Asfordby, to cater for the growing problem that teenagers locally have nowhere to go for their entertainment. The problem has been exacerbated by the axing of local bus services, leaving youngsters stranded in the village. As a result, they are “hanging out” on the streets, and with the darker, colder weather approaching it seemed sensible to see what could be done to help. The church applied to community funding schemes for a grant, but were sadly turned down. However, the Diocesan Growth Fund was happy to step in and fund the purchase of a big screen and suitable projector – and so the Cinema Club is set to start operating on the last Saturday of October. The programme will be varied, but with an age base of 15-19 year olds, there should be a wide selection of films available. Licences have been agreed, and
with the Growth Fund
the club will also operate a simple tuck shop, but admission will be totally free. Initially it is planned to target teenagers known to church members, inviting them to come along and bring a friend. Starting small, with a monthly film showing, will boost the confidence of the helpers and enable good relationships to be formed. We are very much looking forward to hosting this and welcoming our local teenagers into a building they may well not have entered since they were babies, if at all. Some of us are also sneakily looking forward to some good films, including We Bought a Zoo, The Impossible, and (nearer Christmas) The Nativity. Sue Paterson
As an introduction to other faiths, why not book one of our ‘A Taste of Faith’ sessions for your church, house group, club or society?
Simply choose a faith to explore:Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Bahá’í, Judaism, Buddhism We provide a Christian representative plus faith practitioner to present their religion and a personal perspective. The session will include group discussion, display of religious artefacts, Q&A forum. As an extra option, we can provide a shared supper featuring dishes linked to the faith. or more information or to book a session
Tel 0116 273 3459
email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.stphilipscentre.co.uk
worship in a way that renews and inspires
A Christmas Journey in Gilmorton
Last December, just before Christmas, all the children from Gilmorton Chandler CE Primary School put on their wellies and went on a Christmas Journey through the village and across the fields, retelling the Christmas story along the way. The project was devised and put together by Rachel Spadaccini, the RE Coordinator at the school. The Journey began at the outside classroom which had been dressed to represent ‘Mary’s House’. Mary had obviously left in something of a hurry and the children continued on their way to try to find her. The next leg of the Journey took them through fields to a nearby farm with a sheepfold.
Christmas starts with our kids’ nativity service
There were plenty of sheep but no shepherds. Rather mysteriously, the shepherds had left their rulebook behind which stated: ‘Rule 1: Never leave your sheep! Rule 2: Never leave your sheep! Rule 3: Never leave your sheep!’ The children set off again in pursuit of and the next place they visited was ‘The Observatory of the Magi’. This was a gazebo set up in the vicarage garden containing lots of exotic treasures and prophecies relating to the birth of a new king. Among the exciting things on offer was a chest containing gold and silver chocolate coins. The chocolate was eagerly eaten as the children made their way towards church where they found a simple stable scene with ‘Mary’ and a real baby in subdued lighting. They were invited to place their gold and silver coin wrappings at the scene and they noted that the shepherds had already left a gift of a lamb and the Magi had brought their presents too. The children were invited to stay for a few minutes in church to think about what they had seen and heard along the way and then to sing ‘Away in a Manger’ together. This was a simple but exciting and ultimately profound way of immersing children in the Christmas story.
ers Your Church, location of Christmas post e ng ra a e is al on rs Download and pech, for free at christmasstarts.com ur ch ur yo for
A few members of the church were able to join in too and if we repeat the experience it will be worth considering making it a community Journey for members of the wider village. Next time we may leave muddy wellies at the entrance of the church though! Emma Davies
celebration of people and places
Ever been to a conference where you arrive with 101 matters from home weighing on your mind and you sit down to hear a long and demanding opening key-note address that goes straight over your head? Well that is exactly the scenario that this year’s clergy conference (17th -19th September in Swanwick) tried to avoid by designing the opening differently.
This proved to be a much more immediately engaging and participatory way of beginning the conference than in previous years, aided by some rich and diverse vignettes. Helen Newman, chaplain at LOROS, spoke of her ministry to the terminally ill and their families, ministry she described as both ”challenging and extremely demanding – and the good news stories are in many ways, to use a phrase from Isaiah 45, the ‘treasures of darkness’”. The opening session began with projecting Nevertheless good news stories there were. a flashmob scene of the “Hallelujah Chorus” For example Helen told of a young student, before Bishop Tim introduced the theme of ‘Jo’, terrified of dying and knowing his time the conference, “Good News in a Changing was very short, who came to know Jesus and World”. Then instead of a keynote address who said“ I need him to carry me now”; he was we had bite-size (5-6 mins) vignettes from a baptised with his mum, dad and sister beside variety of participants speaking on what was him, dying peacefully and unafraid the next good news in their ministry at this time. Ably day. Helen gave other moving examples of facilitated by the Dean of Leicester Cathedral, reaching a place of reconciliation or peace David Monteith, delegates were invited after as death approached, remarkable stories of each pair of vignettes to reflect on points of good news. Other speakers reflected on the connection or difference in terms of their own good news of the movement of God’s Spirit in 3029 IFA Advert_Darrel Foulk:105x74.25 20/3/13 09:03 Page 1 ministry at this time. overt ways, of the good news of a smart phone,
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What did we learn through this? Not least that it’s not always the case that we need external speakers to help us reflect and go deeper, but often simply the time and space to share what we are noticing about the movement of God’s Spirit in our ministerial experience, trusting that our brothers and sisters will respond gracefully and sensitively, making connections with their own ministries. Mike Harrison
Leicester Grammar Junior School and Leicester Grammar School located together on one 75 acre site in Great Glen, offering independent, co-education based upon Christian principles for pupils aged 3 to 18.
Expert, independent advice ■
how an insulin pump could act as a thorn in the flesh (2 Cor 12.7-8) allowing for deeper reliance on God’s grace, of staying with ministry and relying on God’s faithfulness when it might be easier to cut and run, of the Bishop’s Youth Council’s transforming trip to Tanzania. Conversation around tables was quickly taken to a deeper level by the willingness of the speakers to be open, honest and vulnerable about their ministries, the struggles as well as the joys.
Savings Investments Protection Retirement
Contact Darrel Foulk, Independent Financial Adviser for Leicester Diocese and area Direct tel: 01295 256 715 Mobile: 07730 672 353 or email: email@example.com
For more details contact
0116 2591900 [senior school] or 0116 2591950 [junior school] Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg. No. 2046087. This company is registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ, UK. EFAS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
London Road, Great Glen, Leics. LE8 9FL 12
becoming child friendly
being rooted in prayer
Listening to God speaking through scripture Over the past two years a number of churches in the north of the diocese have been piloting a process called “Partnership for Missional Church”, a 3+ year process designed to help whole congregations transform their culture towards being more authentically engaged in mission. Space doesn’t allow for the detail of this process to be explained here, but please do contact me for more.
The gift of a Child
Hearing young peoples stories of faith
However one of the most significant parts of the process is something called Dwelling in the Word. Over the first year groups from the churches are encouraged to repeatedly reflect on Luke 10.1-12 together in ways which are open to hearing what God might be saying to their church and to them individually. (The scripture passage changes in the second year, and again in the third year). The process itself is instructive and goes like this; 1. Hear the passage read 2. Consider individually in silence where the passage speaks to you, what question you might have or what God might be saying through this 3. Share your reflection with a “reasonably friendly looking stranger” 4. Report to a wider group of 6-8 what your “reasonably friendly looking stranger noticed 5. End in prayer This process is to be used wherever possible at church meetings through the year in order to develop a practice of listening expectantly both to scripture, ourselves and one another, listening one another into free speech and is one way of re-claiming God as our primary and active partner in our life of faith.
As you may know, the Bishops Youth Council had the immense privilege of going to Tanzania on a Mission trip in August of this year. Working with our link Diocese of Kilimanjaro and Tearfund the trip exceeded all expectations. There was lots of laughter, and some tears, and throughout the very different experiences we had from working with local builders to helping in schools and hospitals to tours of churches; each evening we spent time reflecting upon what we had experienced by using the bible and through prayer. We would like to share some of our reflections with you to encourage and challenge us all in our faith journey. Every night a theme came out of our reflections and these ranged from ‘Joy’ and ‘Awesome’ to ‘Body of Christ’ and ‘Humble’. We had days where the words that emerged were ‘Challenge’, ‘Frustrations’, ‘Injustice’ and ‘Disappointment’, but realised that being part of a very different culture .. even for a short time .. had given us the opportunity to reflect upon our faith in our own culture .. so here goes:
The parallels with the ancient process of reading scripture known as “lectio divina” are striking. There are four stages which are lectiomeditatio – oratio – contemplatio. Lectio is reading, then the words are repeated or chewed over (meditatio), responded to in prayer (oratio) and finally a freer time of spontaneous adoration (contemplatio). There are differences because dwelling in the Word is undertaken together, there is active listening to one another as potential bearers of God’s truth and an instilling of confidence in one another as we expect over time to hear something of God’s truth being spoken.
Cameron (14) - “I was challenged by the way everyone is just glad to be Christian and part of Gods plan, this has helped me to be more accepting of bad situations and faults instead of asking God to make everything perfect. It proved to me that our world is still changing and that we can have an effect on others by just being more bold about our faith .. I have set myself this as challenge for now I am home .. it is a really big challenge.” Sophia (16) - “The trip really made me question my motives and ask myself if I really put everything into the task. The Tanzanian people will give 100% just because they can .. so why shouldn’t I?”
A number of churches who have used this approach have testified to its effectiveness in helping them reclaim the resourcefulness and power of scripture, as well as re-vitalising their sense of God being with them, active and prompting. In a world which acts as if God is irrelevant or absent it is all the more important to strengthen practices which resist such assumptions, and dwelling in the Word is one such practice with ancient pedigree.
Grace (14) - Going to Tanzania challenged me as a person and also my faith. Whether it was our morning/evening worship and prayers, seeing joy and love in the African Christians and people around us or the constant smiles and happiness. I don’t know but it made me see a new light in everything that I do.” So let us all be delighted and challenged by these young people’s journeys .. and ask .. where is my journey taking me? .. What story would I share?
If your church would like to take up the practice then please contact Mike.Harrison@leccofe.org who can furnish you with a handy resource. Also contact Mike or anyone in Mission and Ministry as soon as possible (before Christmas) if you are interested in exploring joining the next tranche of Partnership for Missional Church.
leicester.anglican.org/announcements Revd Chris Taylor
Revd Timothy Wright
New Appointment: Interim Chaplain to the University of Loughborough Previous Appointment: Curate in the Benefice of Shepshed and Oaks in Charnwood
New Appointment: Anglican Chaplain at HMP Glen Parva commencing 9 December 2013 Previous Appointment: Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Boulton in the Diocese of Derby Licensing: 10.00 am on Sunday 8 December 2013 at HMP Glen Parva by the Archdeacon of Leicester
Watermead Mission Partnership The Bishop is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Nisar Masih and the Revd Steve Delaforce as Co-Convenors of the Watermead Mission Partnership, succeeding Revd Mandy Ford. This is in addition to their existing roles and commences with immediate effect.
Revd George Dunseth The Bishop announces that the Revd George Dunseth, Priest in Charge of the Benefice of the Conventional District of St Leonard, will be retiring with effect from 15 May 2014.
Revd Canon Brian Davis New Appointment: Priest in Charge in the Benefice of The Gaulby Group Previous Appointment: Permission to Officiate
Revd Sally Marchant New Appointment: Team Vicar, St Anne, Calmore and Cluster Schools Leader in the Totten Team (Southampton) in the Diocese of Winchester Previous Appointment: Curate in the Melton Mowbray Team Ministry
Revd Richard Curtis
Opening Times: 9am - 5pm Mon -Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm Sat St Martins House 7 Peacock Lane Leicester, LE1 5PZ t: 0116 261 5222 buy online on our new website
The Bishop is pleased to announce that the Revd Richard Curtis has agreed to continue as the Chair of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for a further three years (1 April 2014 to 31 March 2017).
Preparation for Life...
Award Winning Pilgrim Gardens
ur award-winning retirement housing is open and only a few apartments are still available!
Pilgrim Gardens is a warden managed, assisted living complex next to Evington Park, Leicester, with 31 one and two-bedroom apartments for rental or leasehold purchase. Prices range from £115,000 to £145,900.
find out more at www.endowedschools.org Saturday, 5th October 9.00am - 12.30pm
• Scholarships/financial assistance • Guided tours of the schools • Address by Heads of the Schools available at Senior Schools • Exhibitions and demonstrations • On site parking on the day
We look forward to meeting you on the 5th October Loughborough grAmmAr SchooL and Loughborough high SchooL Burton Walks, Loughborough, Leics LE11 2DU FAirFieLd PrePArAtory SchooL Leicester Road, Loughborough, Leics LE11 2AE
All enquiries: 01509 283700 www.endowedschools.org Preparation for Life...
Loughborough Endowed Schools
Call 0300 303 8455, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to visit. See the virtual tour on www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk Michelle Hydon, Warden, Pilgrim Gardens, Evington, Leicester LE5 6AL.
leicester.anglican.org/events Husbands Bosworth Christmas Festival Saturday 30th November - Also Sunday 1st December. 10am - 5pm (4.45pm Sun). All Saints Church. Refreshments available, competitions and a chance to vote for favourite exhibit. Entry fee £2.50, children under 14 free. Concert in St.Peter’s Church Tilton on the Hill Friday 6th December - A free concert in church (with retiring collection) starting at 7.30pm. Wine and nibbles will be available to purchase. Christmas Market in Tilton on the Hill Saturday 7th December - 11 - 4 pm.Stalls,Cards ,Gifts,Tombola,Refreshments,Mulled Wine and much more. Free entry. Proceeds to St.Peter’s Church Bell Tower Restoration Fund. Coffee Morning St Margaret’s Leicester Saturday 7th December - 10 am - 12 noon. Many stalls, including a raffle. Admission free. Refreshments available. Contact Janet Bass 0116 2244307. Also Saturday 4th January and Saturday 1st February Christmas Tree Festival Coalville Saturday 7th to 15th December @ St David’s Church, Broom Leys, Coalville, LE67 4RL with a Christmas Fayre on evening of 12th December. Christmas Trees on the theme of ‘The light of the world’ presented by the Broom Leys Community with a nativity scene and choir, music group and brass band accompaniment most evenings. Admission £1 per adult. Christmas Concert Ashby Folville Saturday 14th December - In St Mary’s Church, Ashby Folville. An evening of christmas music with the Ratby co-operative brass band led by musical director Michael Fowles Lunchtime Recital St Margaret’s Leicester Thursday 19th December - Revd Canon Stephen Foster (Bass) and Friends. 1 pm - 1.30 pm (approx.) Admission free. Contact Kay Harpin - 0116 2993241 Carols by Candlelight - St Margaret’s Leicester Sunday 22nd December - 6pm. A service of carols and readings in a beautiful medieval church, enhanced by candlelight. Light refreshments available after the service. Rhythms of Worship Wednesday 15th , 22nd & 29th January 7.30pm 9.30pm - How do Fresh Expressions of Church worship? A short course led by Archdeacon of Leicester. Contact email@example.com
Developing Women’s Influence Thursday 16th January & Friday 28th February - A two day programme for ordained women. Contact -firstname.lastname@example.org
Lunchtime Recital St Margaret’s Leicester Thursday 13th February - Philip Bricher - Organ 1 pm - 1.30 pm (approx.). Admission free. . Contact Kay Harpin 2993241
Developing a Learning plan Wednesday 5th February 1pm - 3pm - Keys to effective Ministerial Development. Contact email@example.com
Pre- retirement Retreat Monday 17th February 4pm. Also on Thursday 20th at 2pm - A retreat for clergy and their spouses approaching retirement with space devoted to reflection Book through Launde Abbey on 01572 217254 laundeabbey.org.uk
Running a Holiday Club Wednesday 12th February 6.30pm - 9.30pm An evening looking at running a holiday club. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Environmental Theology Thursday 13th February 9.30am - 1pm - A Morning looking environmental concerns Contact email@example.com
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becoming a reader and churchwarden
What are your early memories of growing up as a Christian? I am born and brought up in Christian family so knowing about Christ wasn’t new for me. Through Church and being a Vicar’s daughter it was almost impossible for me to not know key biblical scriptures as well as being tought in a Christian missionary school which gave me the foundation of my faith. Singing hyms and taking part in biblical competitions which used to require me to having memorised various bible verses. Who really had an impact on you? My grandparents and parents had a very profound impact on me, as well as my school teacher Miss C W Nichol, a British Missionary. How did you come to be at All Saints Belgrave? Coming to All Saints has been a long journey. Me and my husband and my three children came to England in 2001 and joined Revd Javed Iqbal’s church. We didn’t have a proper church to have our worship in our language but we didn’t have an Asian church established therefore we needed to hire a church. By the grace of God, and the help of Archdeacon Richard Atkinson and Revd Javed Iqbal we came into All Saints church.
Recently you were accepted for training as a Reader. What prompted you to consider being a Reader? I have been serving the Lord for a number of years but I never had the authority or proper education in the biblical field. Also, our church doesnt have a Reader minister therefore I felt the need for me to step up and fill that position in so that I can serve my church to the best of my ability and knowledge What are you looking forward to in training? I am looking forward to all the knowledge I will gain And if you had a prayer….what would it be? For my heavenly father’s will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Riffat was in conversation with Mike Harrison
Join the BBC Radio Leicester Big Christmas Sing
live on BBC Radio Leicester 7pm Monday 23 December Find out more at www.singchristmas.org.uk
104.9 FM / DAB / bbc.co.uk/radioleicester 16
Published on Oct 21, 2013